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how, also in his hoary old age, he protected his mistress's baby from the attack of a savage sow. Legend gathered round that old hero, and to this day his memory is green, and his strain of blood valued in the pedigrees of those who are proud to own dogs claiming him as foresire. And of other dogs there are many who earned local fame in contests with foxes, otters, and badgers ; dogs who have tackled snakes; and one who performed the marvellous feat (for a dumb animal) of extinguishing a lighted candle or piece of burning paper at its master's bidding. Such sterling qualities could not fail to be appreciated by the sporting spirit that characterises the Northumbrian ; the breed was fostered, if the circle was narrow, and without the aid of specialist club, or the incentive of popularity, the Bedlington survived by its right to survival as a game, plucky, typical Northumbrian terrier. And that is a claim to consideration which every true dog-lover will allow, for none can appeal more forcibly.
Nearly fifty years had to pass before the Bedlington won its way south. One of the earliest notices of the breed occurs in The Field, which gave an illustration of a couple of Bedlington terriers in 1869, one, be it noted, bearing the historic name of Peachem, and weighing 21 lbs., and its mate, Fan, weighing 15 lbs. It would thus appear that the breed had increased in size (for Ainsley's Piper was a 15-lb. dog), and has since then further increased, for the standard weight now is 24 lbs. for dogs, and 22 lbs. for bitches, though the height remains the same, viz., from 15 to 16 inches. A correspondent, Mr. William Morris, informs me that the first show at which Bedlington terriers were exhibited was the Darlington Show in 1866; other authorities say at a show at Bedlington itself in 1870. But its first public appearances down south were at the Birmingham Show in 1870, and the Crystal Palace in 1871. In 1875, the jubilee of the terrier's christening, the Bedlington Terrier Club was formed, and flourishes to this day with a membership of nearly seventy, whereof three-quarters belong to the North-a localisation of patronage which is a reflex of the somewhat narrow circle of Bedlington popularity. For, truth to tell, it is probably the least popular of dogs out of its native districts, and but little fancied beyond its own latitude and longitude.
To those who love and appreciate him the Bedlington is far from the reproach of being an ugly dog. There is a certain pathos and a great intelligence in his expression that wins the way to the heart, and ladies, who have vowed in their haste that he had no beauty to commend him, have come to admit, at their leisure, that he is pretty. This I know for a fact. And he certainly is a shapely dog. But he has acquired a character for pugnacity and quarrelling; and these qualities cannot but prove a severe handicap to any animal. Then, again, he is a troublesome dog to “show," requiring “trimming" and "plucking,” and giving rise to caustic criticisms. His fighting proclivities, and his speed and sporting instincts have, however, endeared him to the miners of the North, where the breed shows no signs of declining in popularity, even if it has been supplanted by the whippet as a racing dog. Newcastle, Gateshead, and Darlington remain the headquarters of the fancy, and the rings there are always crowded and the judging keenly followed — not unfrequently with a jealousy which is typical of the terriers themselves, for the green-eyed monster looms large in their consideration of their fellow-dogs.
Before proceeding to quote the criticisms and notes
which have reached me from my contributors in this breed, the description of an “ideal” dog will not be out of place, and I will therefore give
MR. HAROLD WARNES IDEAL BEDLINGTON. – My ideal Bedlington terrier is of a dark-blue or dark-liver colour, with a nice domed skull, not thick, and a white, silky top-knot; a long head, sharp, punishing jaw, and small sunken eyes, set close together. The teeth level, clean, and white; the ears filbertshaped, long, hanging close to the cheek, and with nicely feathered tips. Long slender neck, springing gracefully from the shoulders ; nice compact body, well-arched loins, deep chest, and good straight legs, of nice length, making the dog look neither short nor leggy. Nice, large feet. A stern well set on, and carried well, not inclined to curl. Coat should be hard and wiry, about an inch long, standing up, and not curly. The expression should be kind and pathetic, not sulky, sour, or vicious. I cannot say that I have ever met with the above ideal, but my own dog Cranley Piper, and Mr. Alcock's Ch. Humbledon Blue Boy, were the nearest approach.
The following are criticisms of the type as it exists to-day, together with a few incidental notes on the breed by my contributors :
MR. HAROLD WARNES.—I am satisfied with the type of the very, very few good ones, which can be enumerated on the fingers of one hand. What is wanted is more fanciers and those of the right sort, by which I mean persons who try to breed good ones for the improvement of the variety, and not solely with a view to making money. To my mind the Bedlington has not improved so much as it ought to have done. Too much consideration is given to length of head, and not sufficient to coat. Most of the specimens shown in recent years have had very soft coats, or very little coat at all. The mouths, too, in a great many, have been shockingly bad, probably due to in-breeding, from which the breed has suffered greatly. This is owing in some measure to the real fanciers being so few in numbers, and consequently few strains to breed from. Good dogs are scarce, and at the present price of Bedlingtons, and the small demand for them, this is not to be wondered at. The Bedlington has a very bad character for fighting and evil temper, but my experience of twenty years leads me to believe it is entirely the way in which they are brought up.
All mine have been of the sweetest disposition. When they do fight they are demons; but they rarely quarrel with other dogs, most of their rows being amongst themselves, and caused I believe by jealousy. And lastly, I should like to add a few words on the vexed question of “trimming," and the wholesale disqualifications which resulted from the action of a few people, who really do not understand the breed. I contend that Bedlingtons are no more trimmed than Fox, Irish, Airedale, Welsh, or Dandie Dinmont terriers, and I think it is very unfair to single out a weak breed, and make it the scapegoat, and leave the more popular breeds alone. My view of trimming is, Either do away with it altogether in all breeds, or leave exhibitors to make the best they can of their specimens for show. Do not prosecute one breed and practically allow others to go scot-free.
MR. T. H. AINSLIE (Hon. Sec. of the Bedlington Terrier Club). -In my opinion we have lost a good deal of the natural characteristics of the older breed of Bedlingtons. It is only rarely that one sees the rounded occiput that used to be such a peculiar mark of high breeding some years ago. The craze for long faces is to blame for this more than anything else I know of. I would like to see judges adhere more to the Standard of Points than they do; light eyes are one of the faults which seem not to be noticed and penalised as they ought to be ; teeth also ought to be examined, and undershot or overshot dogs not put in the prize list. The coat is another bone of contention; there ought always to be a soft undercoat, and a hard long or outer coat. The size of a Bedlington is another disputed point amongst fanciers. In the days of the great Goldsmith, the medium-sized dog was the rage. Goldsmith was one of the best dogs of his day, if not the best dog ; he had rather a short head-a fact 75 per cent of his admirers could never be made to believe ; but it was so deep and narrow that the longer one looked the longer the head seemed. Moreover, he had that round skull, deep through the jaws, which is not often seen now. He carried all before him until a bad dose of inflammation carried him off. Poor Dryden, his owner, never looked up after his death ; he was so much attached to the dog, and did not long survive his favourite. After him came Clyde Boy, probably the longest-headed Bedlington that was ever bred, and considered by many the best that ever lived. But he was a big dog ; hence the followers of the smaller type would not have him as the correct article. I should think this dog had more ups and downs on the bench than any other Bedlington. He and Goldsmith were two dogs just the opposite
of one another as to size, and no two caused more discussion as to which was the correct stamp. It is the same to-day, only the bitches are in the ascendancy. I should like to see judges handle the terriers more in the ring ; examine their coats and teeth, and make them move. It is impossible to see the points of a Bedlington standing still ; he loses that peculiar snakey appearance so characteristic of the breed. And his legs and feet do not want judging, as if he were a fox or Irish terrier. Although the Bedlington terrier is often called the “ pitman's dog," the expression is not correct, for notwithstanding that the colliery of Bedlington is the place they derived their name from, in the North every old fancier has his own theory as to where they originated from, and will look at young fanciers with a look that will quite wither them if they harbour an opinion different to his own. I do not think there is another breed of dogs over which there is so much disputing as to how they were produced, and where they came from. · MR. P. R. SMITH.-I think more attention ought to be paid to get darker coloured blues, and better coats, which should be short and twisty, but not woolly.
MR. JOHN COOK.--I am not quite satisfied with the type of to-day, especially the blue variety. Texture of coat is getting very bad ; far too soft and light in colour. Ears are getting too high on the head, which makes them appear too flat at occiput; and there is not a good dark-eyed one on the bench to-day. I should like to see judges study the Standard of Points a little more, and stick to them in their awards. As a rule there is more in and out judging in this variety than in any other I know of.
MR. CECIL F. A. COOPER. --The tendency is to breed the dogs too big ; 25 lbs. should be an absolute maximum. He wants to be bred more as a terrier and less as a “ show variety"; less to head and more to feet, legs, and body. All plucking, faking, colouring, and powdering should be absolutely barred after due notice has been given--not before. Reds should be judged with blues, not separately, and should be valued equally with them. It is a great pity this beautiful breed is so little known and appreciated. The fault lies with dog shows, where he is exhibited as a nondescript “poodle-lap-dog," trimmed and faked until he looks as if he ought to be glued to a board, and lugged round by a child, like a woolly lamb! In fact he looks such a fool that I don't wonder folk do not buy him. But many men cannot afford to keep and breed dogs unless they are able to make a bit out of them, so, unfortunately, shows must exist. It is grossly unfair,